‘Til death do us part is a long time. Though couples realize that marriage is supposed to last a lifetime, the high of the honeymoon stage in any relationship makes it hard to put those years into perspective. It isn’t until the honeymoon stage wears off that reality begins to set in. A lifetime is a long time.
For some couples the end of this transition happens soon, within months or a couple of years after marriage; for other couples this transition can take years. By ten years, almost every couple has reached this brink and either passed it, or have fallen apart. In America alone, more than 20% of the marriages that end in divorce happen by 10 years of marriage.
There are ways to make a marriage a success, and to keep the romance alive. One of the most commonly overlooked aspects are the 5 ways to improve overall marriage fitness.
1. Help with the Small Stuff
One of the highest complaints between unhappy couples is that their spouse just doesn’t notice the small stuff or care to do anything about it. These can be a wide variety of issues from helping with the dishes or laundry, to equally sharing responsibility with childcare. Though to some this seems tedious, that little bit of extra help with the small stuff can make a big difference to your spouse. It shows that you are thinking of them and care to help.
2. Take Time for Each Other
While this may seem like an obvious statement, after a few years of settling into a marriage and getting comfortable a lot of couples begin to neglect this crucial aspect of marriage. Date night is great, but it becomes routine just like anything else in marriage. Take the time to improve your relationship by doing things together unexpectedly. Spontaneity and adventure creates a bond between couples.
3. Remember that Money Solves Nothing
One of the number one top reasons for divorce is financial issues. It is important to remember that at the end of the day, the person you married is your equal partner. A lot of couples play the blame game, making statements such as, “We don’t have money for this because you didn’t do that.” Instead, remember that while money may put a roof over your heads, the love you have for each other can never be taken away like a car or house.
4. Explore Common Interests
There is something that brings couples together in marriage in the first place. Over time, if those common interests are not maintained, or new ones are not sought, the couple will find less in common with each other and begin to drift apart. These interests can be anything from games to crafts to home projects. Finding a fitness activity together can help as well because it keeps both parties in shape, while participating in it together. Common interests are a key to keeping a marriage alive.
5. Learn to Respect Each Other and Forgive Imperfection
There is no such thing as a perfect spouse. Those who seek it are sure to end up unhappy in their marriage. According to the novel, Marriage Fitness, it is best to learn to love the person you are with, along with their imperfections, instead of trying to find the perfect person. Couples who communicate with each other, respect each other, and can forgive their spouse when they make mistakes are the couples who find more success in long term marriage.
Overall a healthy marriage is about more than sticking it out for better or worse, it is about finding a way to take the “for worse” and together make it better. These 5 simple steps will put your marriage on track for long-term happiness.